10 good reasons to TEFL
Sunday, 18th July 2010
Laura Harrison, Cactus TEFL Advisor, gives us the expert opinion...
TEFL gives you a perfect way to see the world and fund your travel. Some people start teaching in one place, fall in love with it, and stay for a long time. Others however prefer to change location every year, and by so doing literally work their way around the world.
2. Experience new cultures
Not only is it a great way to travel, TEFL also gives you the opportunity to really immerse yourself in different cultures, rather than just visiting and looking in to life there as a tourist.
Many teachers gain really good friends in their students, and you’ll often find that you are taken under a protective wing and shown how to live as a local!
3. Learn a new language
Whether you are a natural linguist or not, spending time in a foreign country will inevitably mean that you’ll pick up at least a smattering of the local language. Depending how long you stay, you might even become fluent.
4. Get to know your own language
Another great thing about TEFL is not only do you get the chance a lot of the time to learn a new language, you also get to know your own! Although we all speak fluent English, we are not taught an awful lot about the ins and outs of the language in our formative years. Having to teach grammar, vocabulary and idioms, for example, will require you first to learn more about them yourself before you can explain the finer points to your students.
You may even discover that you actually speak your own language pretty poorly. If you’re someone who drops your h’s and misses off your t’s, you’ll most come likely come back with diction the Queen herself would be proud of!
NB. If you want to brush up your grammar before a TEFL course, get one step ahead with an online English Language Awareness course.
5. Meet new and different people
Teaching English will bring you into contact with people from a huge variety of backgrounds, cultures and age groups. This can’t fail to give you new perspectives on life and in addition will make you lots of new friends and acquaintances from all over the world. Always useful!
6. Learn new skills
Teaching EFL will equip you with a veritable plethora of new skills. Not only will you be able to teach, you will also learn great communication, interpersonal and presentation skills (to name but a few) that will count as great ‘transferable’ skills should you take up a new career after teaching as well.
7. Do something creative
Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a great way to incorporate a bit of creativity into your life. Creativity is arguably one of the traits that make the difference between a good teacher and a great one. Making your lessons lively and interesting will be rewarding for you and lead to a more varied and interesting learning experience for the student.
8. Gain confidence
One of the scariest things for many trainee teachers is the prospect of standing up in front of a class. Granted, the first few lessons that you teach may bring on an attack of the quivers, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly you get used to it, and how much self-confidence you’ll gain as a result.
9. Escape the recession
The UK job market has taken a definite battering as a result of the recession and lots of people are finding it hard to get work in their professional field. The same is true in many countries, but there remains a strong demand for English teachers worldwide, which anyone who gets the right training behind them can take advantage of.
10. Enjoy sunnier climates
Well I wouldn’t be a true Brit if there was no mention of the good old British weather at some point!
The changeable and generally quite uninspiring British weather is not a problem for everyone, but for anyone who yearns for warm temperatures and sunshine all year round, TEFL is the perfect option!